EAST CHINA SEA (Dec. 7, 2023) – A Carolina, Puerto Rico native and 2008 graduate of Oviedo High School is serving aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105).
Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Carlos Sanchez joined the Navy in 2020 and is now assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 embarked aboard Dewey.
“I always had a passion to join the Navy since I was very young,” said Sanchez. “My grandfather was a Sailor and my father served, as well. It kind of runs in the family and I feel like I wanted to uphold that tradition. This is what I feel like I was born to do.”
As an aviation electronics technician (AT), Sanchez is responsible for keeping the squadron’s MH-60R Sea hawk helicopters fully mission capable when it comes to all avionics and electronics, including GPS, radar and communications equipment.
“I chose AT because I’m a hands-on kind of person,” said Sanchez. “I like to work with tools and I used to work on cars. The rate comes with a lot of different electronics-oriented characteristics, but it’s a little bit like working with cars, just everything is bigger and a lot more expensive. It’s a lot of the same principles, though.”
Sanchez said one of his favorite things about being an AT is the unpredictability that comes with each day’s taskings.
“You never know what you’re walking into on any given day,” said Sanchez. “When you start to troubleshoot something, it can be like troubleshooting a computer that you don’t know what’s really happening until you get into the process. You really have to think outside the box, and a lot of times, it helps you to work as a team with everyone around you. Sometimes others will see things that maybe you just didn’t see.”
According to Sanchez, one of the advantages of serving in the Navy is the opportunity to acquire advanced technical skills.
“The Navy gives you skills that the workforce out in the civilian world just doesn’t necessarily always match,” said Sanchez. “This experience sharpens you, teaches you to be organized and reinforces attention to detail. Those are skills that we use every day and I can personally say it helps when I have to troubleshoot something that drops.”
Sanchez offered some advice to others thinking about a career in the Navy.
“Start your career as early as possible,” said Sanchez. “If you have the desire to serve, go with your gut and don’t miss the opportunity. Serving might not be everyone’s passion, but it’s mine. If I didn’t join when I did, I don’t know where I would be right now. I may have still been working back home and maybe even making more money, but I probably wouldn’t have the skills or discipline I have now.”
HSM-37 is stationed at Marine Corps Air Base Kaneohe, Hawaii and is the largest expeditionary squadron in the U.S. Navy.
Dewey is forward-deployed and assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.
U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
|EAST CHINA SEA
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